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Elwyn Berlekamp RIP

Started by Steve Pope April 13, 2019
A few of us had the great fortune to work with Elwyn Berlekamp
during our careers.  He passed away on April 9, 2019.

The most prolific and most genius expert on algebraic coding,
Berlekamp also contributed significantly to game theory, cryptology,
and quant.  He was a member of the USA National Academies of both
Engineering and Science, recipient of both the Shannon Award
and the Hamming Medal, among many other distinctions, and
had an Erdos number of 2.

He will be greatly missed.

Steve
He was the best.  His career was fascinating.  He revolutionized coding theory in his youth.  He started an error correction company, sold it to Kodak, got rich, got into stock trading, got rich again, then got into game theory.

I wrote him a couple of years ago with some questions about his book and he wrote back and we exchanged a few emails.  He was very sharp and didn't seem to have forgotten anything about Galois fields.  He said he was working on an autobiography.  I don't know if he finished it, but it would be an interesting read.
Kevin Neilson  <kevin.neilson@xilinx.com> wrote:

>He was the best. His career was fascinating. He revolutionized coding >theory in his youth. He started an error correction company, sold it to >Kodak, got rich, got into stock trading, got rich again, then got into >game theory.
Basically true, except the game theory thing, including his co-authored books with Conway, was earlier in the timeline. And somewhere in there he solved the game of Go. It's fair to say he invented algebraic decoding, and then later on, he invented quant. I always enjoyed his ability to connect with and inspire people, by finding just the right level and topic with which to engage them. Steve